The Duergar's Glaive

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rebuy:

i hate this

(Source: vine.co)

On Cheikh Anta Diop and The African Origin of Civilization

Effort post time.

Cheikh Anta Diop (1923–1986) was a Senegalese Egyptologist.  His thesis is simple: Egyptians were Africans.  His work was initially rejected by the University of Paris but later published in the Présence Africaine.  His seminal work is The African Origin of Civilization (1974), wherein he presents his evidence for the African character of Egyptian civilization and how facets of ancient Egyptian culture were adapted by later societies.

My only major critique of this work is that it was written in the 70s.  Archeological texts tend to become dated as new discoveries are made, but as a whole Origin is a solid work; just take it with a grain of salt. Diop insists on callling the average Egyptian citizen black, though one should bear in mind that racial categorization that are used to day did not exist in the past and whether or not one was an Egyptian would have been decided on other criteria (language for instance)*.  That and it refers to black people as negroid, which I attribute to translation and, once again, it being the 70s.   

(*Egyptians recognized several skin colors, tending towards darker shades as one moved up river into Nubia (southward into Africa) which is to be expected.)

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Figure 1.) Picture from Book of Gates, Egyptian Funerary Text.

There is bunch of cool insights.  

For instance, circumcision.  Biblically circumcisions are meant to represent an alliance with the God, however the exact line of reason behind the practice is not explained.  Diop notes how Abraham, the forefather of the Jewish people, was circumcised at 90 yrs. after marrying Hagar, and Egyptian woman.  Diop asserts that circumcision was a practice integrated into Egyptian society, forming a duality with excision.  

In the cosmogony of the Dogon people, a newborn infant is like unto Amma ,the first god, being androygnous in nature.  The foreskin and the clitoris were considered characteristics of sex opposite of the apparent sex.  It is only after the circumcision/excision is performed that a single sex is fortified into ones being.  Amon **, Diop notes, was a primoridal god also androygnous in nature and self-created, being their own father and mother at once.  Both cultures represented their respective god with water, humidity, and the ram. 

(**there maybe (?) some ambiguity between Amon and another god called Atum, but like I said, its dated.  Either way, both are androgynous and self-created.)

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Figure 2.) Statue of Amun, British Museum (lol imperialism)

Diop aslo asserts that certain Latin words have origins in African cultures.  For instance, the Latin Magnus (great)  and the Ghana term Kaya Magan (great king of the Ghana Empire) may have both been derived from the Wolof terms Kay Mag (one who is great) and Mag (great, venerable), which may have been derived from the Egyptian Maka (veteran).  Whether or not that bears out I leave to you, Jack. 

And that is just the taste.  There is much more related to the writing of Herodotus, artifacts, language, Timbuktu, imperialism, the totemic nature of gods, the stone cults of the Serer, Abrahamic religions, Babylonians, burial rights, bronze age economics, and Roman incursions.  

So yeah, Diop was a cool guy.

I see a bunch of stuff on this site related to the Ancient Egyptian civilization that is cleary well meaning, though not the best informed.  If I had to guess there was teacher who read this book in the past then related it to their students who then post on this site, like a drawn out game of telephone. 

Friends who might enjoy this book: Jack (to assauge the butthurt), Anna (you could probably read the original french ver.), Samuel, Lindsay, Laura, Emily.

Just got back from teaching 3rd grade

I’m going to go lay on the couch and cry for a bit.

pantsandboots:

These two rascals have been goofing around all evening

pantsandboots:

These two rascals have been goofing around all evening

gunshowcomic:

really fucked up that night of sleep
You can’t make me apologize for this joke!!! I shan’t!!! *swings out window on chandelier* 



PATREON! + BACK!  
PINOCCHIO! + STORE!

gunshowcomic:

really fucked up that night of sleep

You can’t make me apologize for this joke!!! I shan’t!!! *swings out window on chandelier* 

PATREON! + BACK!  

(Source: livingbeard)

campbellwhyte:

Just wrapped up this Shadow of the Colossus isometric that’s been on the back burner for way too long. Pretty happy with how it turned out.

racieb:

thatfuhkinhippie:

Do not plug in pls

oh hi i upgraded ur ram

racieb:

thatfuhkinhippie:

Do not plug in pls

oh hi i upgraded ur ram

(Source: distinguishedbaloney)

Thoughts on Shinsekai Yori (From the New World)

Elevator Pitch: It is a million years in the future and humans have telekinesis.  Four friends strive to understand the hidden machination of their society.  Chance events in the friends’ childhood snowball into conflict that puts the very fabric of their society on the line.  Also mole people shenanigans.    

At the beginning you have a set up that screams “this is going to be a young adult dystopia.” And in the middle you have plot that screams “this is going to be a young adult dystopia.” And then you get to the endgame and the plot screams “psych!”

(Note: Young adult dystopia = “here some kids in a wacky survival scenario, I am going to think up a convoluted future society to justify it. Brownie points if all the meanie adults have selective stupidity.”)

Emily, I remember you being wary of this cause it looked like a harem.  You will be happy to know it is not.

The animation is great, however in some scenes it gets choppy for reasons I can only assume are budget allocation.

At one point there is a sudden plot dump, which as usual I dislike, but thats the only one so good job A-1 Pictures.        

Did I mention there are mole people.

Cause there is are mole people.

And they are never not my favorite things to look at.

Friends who would probably like these anime: Emily, Samuel, Richard, Scott, Victoria

for-all-mankind:

sagansense:

Congratulations to the Indian Space Research Organization (ISRO) for successful insertion of their spacecraft into Mars’ orbit!!!

So proud of this entire team. India and the ISRO have just made history as the first - before China and Japan, who have both failed in their attempts - to join the ESA and Soviet Union regarding a successful spacecraft rendezvous with the red planet. This is huge.

imageimageimage

India joins the U.S., the European Space Agency and the former Soviet Union in the elite club of Martian explorers. China and Japan have so far failed to accomplish this. India is the first country to achieve this on its first attempt. It is also the first Asian country to reach Mars successfully.
Indian Space Research Organisation (ISRO)

imageLearn more about the Mars Orbiter Mission (and the scientific achievements/firsts to come)…

I think the coolest thing about this mission (or, a sign of the economy) that the MOM mission was cheaper - per kilometre - than one of India’s autowallahs. The average fare for the taxi is about 15 INR per kilometre, while MOM cost about 11.25 INR per kilometre. Of course, it had farther to go, but it’s still a cool comparison.

One of the members o the Space Hipsters facebook community posted a great little diagram explaining the logic behind this claim.